Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the croutons on a baking sheet and bake, stirring once, until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ham and cook, stirring, until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
To make the vinaigrette, whisk the fig preserves, vinegar, shallots, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the vegetable oil. Set aside.
Toss the arugula with the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Divide the greens among four salad plates. Arrange the quartered figs, ham, and croutons over the greens. Sprinkle with the blue cheese and serve.
Yield: 4 servings